Facebook stops live shoppingthe QVC-like live streaming feature that allows creators to broadcast and sell products to an audience (through TechCrunch). The feature will be officially discontinued on October 1, and Facebook says it’s part of the company’s initiative to shift focus to Reels.
“As consumer viewing habits shift to short video, we’re shifting our focus to Reels on Facebook and Instagram, Meta’s short video product,” explains Facebook. While live shopping on Facebook will stop, it will still be available on Instagram.
First rolled out in 2018 in Thailand, live shopping opens up a new revenue stream for creators on Facebook. It allows influencers to host their own live shopping sessions where they can show off and sell a variety of products both from their own store and through an affiliated company. Facebook rolled out the feature more widely in 2020, around the same time it introduced a dedicated shopping tab. While live shopping in China remains hugely popular, it doesn’t seem to be taking off in other parts of the world. Even TikTok announced last month that it was withdrawing live shopping in the US and Europe.
But the shutdown of live shopping also shows Facebook’s increasing commitment to its short video feature, Reels, which it officially brought to the platform last year. Facebook has even considered making its algorithm more like TikTok, something its parent company, Meta, has already done with Instagram (much to the dismay of the Kardashians). Like Facebook, Instagram has pushed heavily on short content, with all videos on the platform now rolling.
The emphasis on Reels has sparked concern among longtime Instagram users who have come to know the app as a way to share photos with friends. Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri was outraged after telling users that the platform would become video-centric, prompting Instagram to roll back some of its changes.